Posted November 02, 2013

Report: Toronto Raptors prepared to trade ‘anyone but [Jonas] Valanciunas’

NBA
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Raptors are reportedly willing to trade veterans Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors and new general manager Masai Ujiri are already preparing to make a splash on the trade market, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

The front office entered training camp before the 2013-14 season with an open mind about the players on its roster, but there is now a “strong sense” that the Raptors are willing to trade “anyone but [Jonas] Valanciunas,” Stein reports.

Valanciunas, a 22-year-old center who averaged 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks as a rookie last season, was the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft.

While Toronto has considered signing veteran forward Rudy Gay to an extension, Ujiri and company are now surveying the league to determine his trade value, along with the values of point guard Kyle Lowry and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan received a four-year, $40-million contract extension from ex-GM Bryan Colangelo last November, Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and Gay has a player option for 2014-15.

From the report:

Gay, meanwhile, rates as one of the league’s more fascinating cases after Toronto’s previous regime gambled on the notion that the former Memphis Grizzlies max signee could be a co-cornerstone with Valanciunas. How tradable, really, is Gay when he’s making nearly $18 million this season? The sense out there is that the Raps, who only just got him in January, are determined to find out.

Rival teams are still formulating their projections on what Gay will do at season’s end, when he has the option to become a free agent or play out the final season of his last Memphis contract at a heady $19.3 million. You hesitate to simply assume that Gay, even at his relatively young age, will opt for free agency, because the likelihood is that the annual salary in his next deal won’t be nearly that high.

The Raptors fell to 1-1 after a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. They finished 34-48 last season, tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, and haven’t made the playoffs since 2007-08.

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13 comments
WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

And WHY does toronto even have the NBA again?

kj4027
kj4027

The problem with the NBA is you can't just dump salary or bad contracts... you have to take crap back as well. No team is going to take on the Gay's salary especially because the cap really tightens next year and teams don't want to pay all the new taxes. Going forward there will not be anymore "big 3" teams like Miami. So they will probably look to dump Bosch as he won't opt out.

ConkerDoodle
ConkerDoodle

@WHO*IS*ESPN  

Toronto is a massive market.  It's also the only Canadian team which allows them to market the product nationally.  The millions of dollars in revenue generation is why they have an NBA team.  Did you really not know that?  Do you understand the concept of profit? 

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@WHO*IS*ESPN Why wouldn't they? The area is one of the largest markets in North America. They also have a great fanbase, who are understandably tired of losing...

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@kj4027 For that very reason, Gay's contract has value in that it will expire, leaving tonnes of cash to throw at free agents - WITHOUT having to take back crap as well. It'll be worth even more next year in the last year of his deal (assuming he takes the player option)...

M20
M20

@kj4027 Is that really a problem? I think it's a good thing. If you sign or acquire a bad contract, you have to live with the consequences. It should have at least a slight deterrent effect on bad contracts (and lately, I think it has). Memphis fleeced the Raptors in this one. Unfortunately for Ujiri, he's the one who has to clean up the mess.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@kj4027 The speculation I've seen is that Bosh will opt out, in order to get a max length contract, but that doesn't make much sense to me.  If I was Miami and Bosh opted out, I'd wish him well, slide Birdman into his spot, and look around for some kind of bargain big man.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@M20 @kj4027 Fleeced the Raptors? Who did they get again? A bunch of crappy contracts with lesser players for the same dollar amount. At least Toronto got to see what Gay has, and will have almost $20 million to blow on free agents when his contract expires, all at once. Nobody won this trade, but I'd rather watch Gay then the players they sent the other way

kj4027
kj4027

@Bearsclone @kj4027 If I were in Bosh's shoes I would not opt out unless he really believes he's a max player. I am sure there will be teams that will sign Bosh because he can score a lot of points. He just hasn't been able to showcase his offensive talent in Miami because he is usually the 3rd or 4th option.